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republican lawmaker says his party is not even trying to solve the fiscal cliff crisis and why he thinks that may be a good thing. interesting take coming up. >>> plus, russian president vladmir putin, have you heard what he did? taking aim at americans who hope to adopt russian children. what's behind this controversial move? a live report next. jon: right now syria's opposition leader is rejecting an invitation for peace talks as the violence escalates. the country's ally, russia, is inviting the leader of syria's opposition to visit moskow for the first time but that offer turned down. some interesting developments here. let's get them from leland vittert live in our mideast bureau. leland? >> reporter: jon, no one really views russia as an honest broker here especially the rebels who for so long seen russia side with pat assad in this conflict. they don't really want to deal with the russians, hence turning down the invitation. the rebels now think time is on their side. the momentum is on the battlefield has shifted. for so long the rebels were outgunned and outmaneuvered. they hold
. >>> coming up, a down-to-the wire negotiations on the fiscal cliff. >>> republicans have taken their demand for social security benefits off the table. truth is, they should have never been on the table to begin with. there's still significant difference between the two sides but negotiations continue. there's still time left to reach an agreement. i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed with debate only. >> without objection, so ordered. >> harry reid on capitol hill just moments ago talking about the progress in the fiscal cliff negotiations. let's bring back paul cane from "the washington post." what are your thoughts of that that they'll reconvene tomorrow? >> that's senate speak for progress. that was a very, very good moment there. you know, earlier today, this afternoon, reid essentially said he didn't have another offer to give and best of luck, joe biden and mr. mcconnell in your talks. my sources have said that those talks went very well and they've restarted the talks now between reid and mcconnell. now, it's going to go probably late tonight, late tonight. we'll have to
but senate minority leader mitch mcdonnell addressing the fiscal cliff. >> now republicans have bent over backwards. we stepped way, way out of our comfort zone, we wanted an agreement. but we had no takers. the phone never rang and now here we are, five days from the new year and we might finally start talking. democrats have had an entire year to put forward a balanced bipartisan proposal and if they had something to fit the bill, i'm sure the majority leader would have been able to deliver the votes the president needed to pass it here in the senate and we wouldn't be in this mess. but here we are, once again, at
in that interview that republicans were to blame for the current fiscal cliff standoff. take a listen. >> congress has not been able to get this stuff done, not because democrats in congress don't want to go ahead and cooperate, but because i think it's been very hard for speaker boehner and republican leader mcconnell to accept the fact that taxes on the wealthiest americans should go up a little bit as part of an overall deficit reduction package. >> how accountable are you for the fact that washington can't get anything done and that we are at this deadline again? >> i have to tell you, david, if you look at my track record over the last two years, i cut spending by over $1 trillion in 2011. i negotiated with speaker boehner in good faith and moved more than halfway in order to achieve a grand bargain. i offered over $1 trillion in additional spending cuts. at a certain point if folks can't say yes to good offers, then i also have an obligation to the american people. >> michael steele, some republicans were quick to criticize the president's tone. speaker boehner responded by saying this. amer
not go over the so-called fiscal cliff. senate democratic and republican leaders are working on a package now that could be voted on monday. any plan, however, must be approved by the republican-run house. >>> a man and a boy were fishing on a marine headlands beach when a wave swept them out to sea yesterday evening. rescue crews recovered their bodies in the frigid water near the golden gate bridge. no word on the relationship between those two victims. >>> high school party got out of hand, forcing an evacuation at the intercontinental hotel in san francisco last night. police say a fight broke out during the event which led to somebody spraying pepper spray. dpefts were then evacuated but let back in gsh guests were evacuated but then let back in shortly after that evacuation. >>> time for a last look at the weather. that's a positive story today. >> it is, yes. things look to be improving in that department at reeft. we're going to go out one last time and look at the doppler, perched at the highest point in sonoma county. as we look at the central bay, you can see that there's mos
. >>> the looming fiscal cliff with republican lindsey graham and dianne feinstein and the benghazi attack. a preview when we come back. >>> gwen tolbart will be back with the workweek preview. stay with us. we will be right back. it's embarrassing it's embarrassing! we can see you carl. we can totally see you. come on you're better than this...all that prowling around. yeah, you're the king of the jungle. have you thought about going vegan carl? hahaha!! you know folks who save hundreds of dollars by switching to geico sure are happy. how happy are they jimmy? happier than antelope with night-vision goggles. nice! get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. >>> the so-called fiscal cliff is looming. a live look now at the capitol where lawmakers held negotiations into the night and early this morning. they will be con convening -- convening once again this afternoon. >> at the top of the hour, we are going to have an exclusive interview with senators diane phi stein and -- feinstein and lindsey graham. maybe they have gotten word as to how these negoti
for being on vacation as the nation teeters on the edge of the so-called fiscal cliff. house republicans are holding a conference call from their districts that should be starting right about now we are told. steny hoyer urged them to come back to work and find a solution. >> i hope they can conclude as we have concluded and i speak for leader pelosi, myself and all of the democratic leadership that we must come back as soon as possible to work together to reach a compromise to assure that we are address the importance legislation that is still pending in this congress. a congress i believe is the least productive, most con front asianal and least compromising congress in which i have concerned and i've been here since 1981. >> that's saying a lot. at this point, it's not clear whether that conference call we mentioned with the house republicans, it's not clear whether that call meant to give members the 48-hour notice to get back to work. with five days before the spending cuts and tax hikes to take effect, we learned today that negotiators are talking. the white house says the presiden
boehner, if we go over the fiscal cliff, that republicans will get the blame? >> well, of course they will. because republicans get blamed if it rains if washington. that shouldn't be the test here, it shouldn't be the consideration. but senator reid has had it within his power since spring to amend the house bill and send it back with whatever changes he wanted. that's what the constitution says. sadly, they've given speeches instead of getting the job done. but nobody, nobody wants taxes to go up on middle class americans. and i hope that everybody works real hard over the weekend. a lot of americans have to work on the weekend. i don't think it's a big deal that we have to work this weekend. >> it's not a big deal and you should all be working this weekend. listen, a few weeks ago it looked like speaker boehner and president obama were pretty close on a grand bargain. maybe not as big as should would hope. it looked like the president was saying, we'll raise that top rate and offer some entitlement reform. social security changes, cpi. some talk of raising the medicare eligibility age.
to fiscal cliff. >> this is like taking your child hostage and saying to somebody else i'm going shoot my child if you don't do what i want done. there is no republican lead they're wants to default on our debt. >> eric: that is a different story. not the fiscal cliff. that is debt ceiling debate we were talking about. he says give us a checkbook and taking a shot at republicans. that is different from the fiscal cliff. >> andrea: they are intertwined. not separate entities. i point out is the language he used. con plaited republicans holding their children hostage and murdering them. imagine if the republicans said that. you have don't hear about it. you hear about it here. >> kimberly: because we put it on fox news. i like to play a game called seal a new deal. go around the table. >> andrea: taken. >> kimberly: it has? >> andrea: yeah, sorry. >> kimberly: we play this and begin with you. let me know what you think. deal or no deal by the time of the deadline? >> no deal. meeting with the political theater. >> kimberly: andrea? >> andrea: no deal. >> kimberly: he doesn't want one. he is
to avoid the fiscal cliff. he'll also have to put together something that will get republican support in the house. this is a last-ditch effort and will be obviously very difficult if it succeeds at all. at this point, the white house still wants that threshold for income tax rates to be at 250,000. it's unclear, exactly what the senate proposal is going to look like. as we understand from sources, al inna, it could be a couple of days, even though this are reconvening tomorrow, it could be a couple of days before they outline the proposal. we're told by sources they are waiting to get republican support in the senate but to build pressure in the house. if they move the deadline close -- move the timeline from unveiling a proposal as close to the new year as possible it increases pressure on the house and, of course, if the house doesn't take up the bill, you can see that we're already sort of setting the scene for the blame game. democrats would point the finger at republicans for going over the fiscal cliff. >> that's been going on for a while as you well know, brianna, and as the p
on the thousands that republicans stand to hurt in their own districts if we go over the fiscal cliff. >>> history was made this year in more ways than one. we saw unprecedented efforts being made at the state level to suppress the vote, targeting the poor, the young, the elderly, and minorities. we also saw the re-election of the first african-american president. and with that historic event came a whole wave of hate speech and racist stunts. social media provided a platform for the nation's unenlightened to air their grievances with the president's skin color. one blog tracked the origin of racist tweets, following the president's re-election. the majority of them coming from red states in the southeast. twitter saw another eruption of racist language when the president interrupted sunday night football to address victims' families in newtown, connecticut. and for those not as technologically savvy, danny halfly of kentucky proves there are more old-fashioned ways to show one's ignorance in 2012. halfly says there is nothing racist about this barack obama mannequin, holding a slice of watermelon
the fiscal cliff aired it earlier today. he put much of the blame on shoulders of the republicans if no deal is reached. the gop fired back saying the president should lead right now not cast blame. correspondent s henry is live from the white house. >> he is frustrated going on a talk show today in the middle of the negotiations. he has not been on one of the programs since 2009. he felt it was important to get the message out there. you are right he was pounding the same message again and again f. we go up the fiscal cliff for not meeting them halfway. >>> not because democrats and congre congre congress don't want to go ahead and cooperate but i think it has been hard for speaker boehner and republican mcconnell to accept the fact taxes on wealthiest should go up a little bit sweas well as a deficit reduction package. if they can't say yes to good offers i have an obligation to make sure the entire burden of deficit reduction doesn't fall on seniors who are relying on medicare. >> republicans are expressing frustration saying the president is trying to put the blame on them for going off
to the white house today to work on the ever looming fiscal cliff. can he cut a deal with republicans. >>> and david gregory may be in trouble of the law because of that ammo thing he has on his anchor desk. [ male announcer ] the more you lose, the more you lose, because for every two pounds you lose through diet and exercise, alli can help you lose one more by blocking some of the fat you eat. let's fight fat with alli. ♪ ♪ you make me happy when skies are gray ♪ [ female announcer ] you know exactly what it takes to make them feel better. ♪ you make me happy [ female announcer ] that's why you choose children's tylenol. the same brand your mom trusted for you when you were young. ♪ how much i love you [ humming ] [ female announcer ] children's tylenol, the #1 brand of pain and fever relief recommended by pediatricians and used by moms decade after decade. [ humming ] by the armful? by the barrelful? the carful? how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. >>> th
that republicans are willing to take to avert the fiscal cliff. there's their 400,000. so everyone who makes $400,000 their taxes would stay the same. would that be acceptable. if there is no deal to be reached we do know that harry reid will try to move forward on monday with the bill for those making $250,000 or below. so that's what we need to see how it will work there. there are types of sweeteners they can do. mitch mcconnell is a tough place and this is the underreported part of the story. he has to figure out a deal that gets through the senate and doesn't make john boehner look too bad in the house and there are a lot of conservatives in the house that don't want to do any type of deal that would raise taxes on anybody even though they'll go up on the entire country the first tax hike in 20 years after monday night. >> and one would also assume that mitch mcconnell would have to back a grant, he could face a primary fight if this thing -- >> you touched on one of the great sub plots of these entire negotiations is personal things that boehner and mcconnell have in these negotiations. obv
of 2013. these are the people that republicans have used as pawns in the fiscal cliff debate. earlier this week, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell demanded spending cuts to offset the estimated. $30 billion cost of extending the federal unemployment insurance program for another year. mcconnell was elected to serve the people of kentucky. so how do mcconnell and junior senator rand paul justify letting federal unemployment benefits expire for 24,000 people in their state? how can senator marco rubio allow nearly 119,000 unemployed floridians to be cut off? senators john mccain and jon kyl should be fighting for the 28,000 people who would be affected in arizona. it's not clear if they will. and the list goes on and on. unemployment benefits are vital to the economic security of millions of americans, and the continued recovery of the u.s. economy as a whole. this should not be a bipartisan issue. let's bring in john nichols, washington correspondent for "the nation" magazine. brother nichols, who will be most affected if no deal is reached. not the very reach who can afford to de
increased since the election and also increased in how people view his handling of the fiscal cliff, while attitudes towards republicans are consistently bad and the blame and disapproval is only growing for them. it's costing them in the polls and at the polls this crisis of leadership, this consistent blocking that every obama has tried to do. it's really over a tax increase, and for what? it's really to stop primary challenges. that's what this is all about. i mean, it's really bringing the country to a standstill for their own political short term. >> "new york times" is talking about the urgency issue in all of this, and lacking urgency that we have witnessed. they say, yeah, with days left before the fiscal punch lands, both sides are exhibiting little sense of urgency. rather than to foster progress. perry is that the biggest thing, the primaries moving out of this and how everything looks back? >> i think there are two things going on. the first is democrats generally feel they won a man dade. they're not backing down -- the second thing is the primary issue. you have members of co
reform trying to sell a fiscal cliff deal. he is was on meet the press. republicans weren't happy with that appearance because he they felt he was blaming them. new development in the last hour or two, vice president biden has come back from delaware. he is now here at the white house. he has had two phone calls with mitch mcconnell. in previous budget battles, joe biden has been the closer on these deals. his coming back from delaware might be a sign they are moving a little closer. that will be something to watch. the whole thing about changing cpi and reining in cost of entitlements, republicans are judging in on that. take a listen. >> one of proposals we made was something called change cpi but basically makes an adjustment in terms of how inflation is calculated on social security. highly unpopular among democrats not something supported but to strengthen social security in the long time i'm willing to make those decisions. >> reporter: in the morning, the president seemed to be opening the door to rein in those entitlements and then you heard harry reid shut the door on it.
. >> republicans are firing back about how the grand ol' party is handling fiscal cliff negotiations. why they say the president needs to stop the blame game and start leading. fair and balanced debates when we come back. questions? anyone have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. >>> our continuing conference of the fiscal cliff in this special edition of the fox report. the saying during an interview today it's the house republicans to blocked any potential deal by refusing to accept tax hikes on the wealthiest americans. house speaker john boehner said, quote, americans elected president obama to lead, not cast blame. the president's comments to be are ironic as a theme of our negotiations was his unwillingness to agree to anyone that requires him to stand up to his own party. brad blakeman, former deputy assistant to george w. bush, debby dingle from mish michigan to talk about us.
as part of the overall deal here on the fiscal cliff. republicans have been resisting that by announcing the debt ceiling limit will be held on monday, ratchets up the pressure to include the debt ceiling piece in the final package, whatever that may be, but still not clear, carl, there is going to be a final package of any kind. one quick note, we saw the realism. pact in the real world of the debt situation. treasury announcing yesterday it has suspended the sale of state and local government securities, government series securities. so already, they are doing some maneuvering here financially to try to avoid that debtly limit. the treasury secretary says he doesn't know how much wiggle room they are going to have, given that all the fiscal cliff uncertainty is out there. >> eamon, on this idea that the house members get called back with 48 hours' notice. traders are looking for that headline if it happens almost that bleed out there or procedural moment where that is announced, so to speak? >> a good question. i have been in touch with republican leadership about that today. what they
for stopping this fiscal cliff business. we are going to speak to a republican lawmaker in a moment, and marcia blackburn and in the meantime, you are watching the speciacoverage here on cnn and don lemon and me and our colleagues in washington. we will be right back. s with adding a friend, ♪ ♪ could end with adding a close friend. ♪ the lexus december to remember sales event is on. offering some of our best values of the year. this is the pursuit of perfection. >>> as republicans and democrats are at an impasse, both sides are blaming each other, and the markets will open up by the way in asia in the next couple of hours and you might start to see a reaction, but although, i don't know what they have to react to, but our own markets will open in 14 hours from now here in the united states. maybe they will react to something, too, but my point is that congress could ruin a good economy. for perspective, we will talk to a republican from tennessee, representative marcia blackburn. thank you for being with us. >> good to see you, yes. >> i know we have talked about this many times and indi
leader harry reid is ready to introduce legislation that would avert the fiscal cliff, but only if he gets assurances from republican leaders that they won't try to block it. that standoff is creating some tension on capitol hill that spilled on to the senate floor today. >> the senate will come to order. >> reporter: in the normally genteel senate, leader reid unleashed a tirade today about house speaker john boehner, accusing him of running a dictatorship in the house. >> speaker boehner is not willing to negotiate. we have not heard a word from leader mcconnell. nothing is happening. >> reporter: mitch mcconnell, the top republican in the senate, said it's reid who hasn't reached out for weeks. >> the phone never rang. and so now here we are, five days from the new year, and we might finally start talking. >> reporter: but talking about what? so far, reid has not introduced the scaled-down bill he was reportedly working on over the christmas holiday. sources say that bill would extend the bush-era tax cuts for americans making less than $250,000 a year. with the clock ticking, reid
the fiscal cliff. >> the idea, republicans and this is the idea that has been floated, will let us go off the cliff sor they or certain members won't have to raise taxes. >> they will cut taxes retroactive retroactively. >> seems like a bad way to go. >> look, this was a machine built to encourage compromise. and it may get easier for some republicans to come back in january if we go over the cliff. the reason, of course, all the bush tax cuts expire with the cliff, when you come back, you would only be voting to cut taxes on some force of the public, up to a certain income level. if you do it now, basically extend push tax cuts, are you effectively raising taxes on some people. might be easier for republicans, it takes us only a small step of the larger accommodation we need. we need some kind of long-term agreement to stabilize the federal government's finances and automatic spending cut side of this is a really blunt instrument. they have to come together if they are going to deal with this, and the problem as i say, all political incentives are toward polarization and refusing to bend
. . >>> while republicans and democrats angle over the fiscal cliff there's another storm going on within the gop involving the tea party and guns. one tea party group held a machine gun social, another a great gun giveaway and dick armey may have used guns to influence his fellow tea partiers. according to "the washington post" mr. armey recently marched into the office of freedom works. he was accompanied by his wife and also a man identified as a former capitol hill police officer who was volunteering his services as a security guard to mr. armey. now, the fact that this security guard was carrying a gun on his waist is a key detail because mr. armey's mission was so force his enemies in freedom works out of the organization. he was carrying out a purge, and the man with the gun actually escorted two of the targets of that purge out of the freedomworks building. so is this what the tea party has come to, an armed coup? hogan, with an intro like that, you know i got to start with you, my friend. >> of course. >> there's a lot of discord within your party between the fiscal cliff and gun
on "meet the press" today when he said that republicans are to blame for this fiscal cliff stalemate. chris? >> kristin welker, thanks to you and thanks to nbc's kelly o'donnell on the hill as well. more ahead this hour as we continue to cover the ongoing negotiations on the hill. why a small deal now would set up a big fight later. more on secretary of state hillary clinton who has been hospitalize tonight with a blood clot. msnbc's live coverage continues after this. >>> time is running out for congress to reach a deal to avert the fiscal cliff crisis. at this point, the approaching deadline can be measured in hours, and expectations are being scaled down accordingly. >> i suggested to them, if they can't do a comprehensive package of smart deficit reduction, let's, at minimum, make sure people's taxes don't go up. >> the president appearing on "meet the press" this morning, pushing a narrow last-minute deal that would extend the bush tax cuts for the middle class but leave a hoet of other issues unresolved. if congress does reach a small deal on taxes before the fiscal cliff deadlines up
, then there is no way that we can make that fiscal cliff deadline. it's going to require the republican leadership to be willing to have a traditional up or down vote on the majority leader's legislation. >> well, for a man who's filibustered his own legislation, that's a tall order, to be sure. >> it is, but it happens in the context of all of us looking at what kind of filibuster reform there should be. >> right. >> and if republicans want to show the american people that at that juncture, with everybody watching and so much at stake, they're going to force a fiscal cliff breaking filibuster, i think that's going to have effects that they're going to be very concerned about down the road. so we have kind of a filibuster window here, if the minority leader, if the republican leader will let us proceed that way. >> well, from your mouth to your 99 colleagues' ears, to be sure. >> yeah. >> let's take a listen at your leader, your senate majority leader reid after the meeting. >> i hope everything's a good sign. i've had my confidence destroyed on other occasions, so i hope it's not on this occasion
, republicans in congress tackle fiscal cliff. the most visible former elected official in the tea party and, of course, chairman of freedom works tried to oust several freedom works officials this fall. in fact, according to the post, army thieves control momentarily of the group. and he brought a gun carrying aide to remove rivals within the organization. but within a week, army was out. freedom works arranged an $8 million pay page for him. $8 million. that is more than the organization's entire annual budget in some years. over in the house, several tea party allies were recently stripped of their committee assignments by speaker boehner. so there are some problems there at the top. an influential conservative is lashing out. >> the tea party is going of to look at itself. it's been so helpful to the republican party in the past. it saved i by not going third party in 2010, helping the republicans sweep the house. but the tea party style of rage is not one that wins over convertes and makes people lean toward them and say, i want to listen to you. >> so there is some real trouble there f
, at their kitchen tables, understand not only what this fiscal cliff is. but i think part of what the representative is telling us here, we have to be really clear about is what republicans would like to do is hold the country's long term hostage on the short term. and it's critical the democrats, no matter how important it is to get a deal done, don't get the wrong deal done. they've goth to make sure that a fair deal happens. >> thank you, i'm going to let you guys keep going on this because i really want to help bring this home. congressman and thank you, melissa harris perry, thank you both for your time this evening. and happy new year to both of you. but don't forget to tune in to melissa harry-perry saturdays and sundays at the 10:00 a.m. hour, here, eastern time on msnbc. coming up, more on the president's comments on the fiscal cliff negotiations and politics over people. republicans bring the country to the brink again. and millions of unemployed americans are nervously waiting. and what a year it's been. the votes are in. we have the "politics nation" picture of the year coming up. you're
shows that more american will hold congressional republicans responsible for going over the fiscal cliff instead of the president. 48%-37% there. has making his case to the public either on recent trips or with his upcoming appearance, has that really given president obama the leverage in this debate? >> i certainly think it has helped because what this president has been good at i think throughout his tenure through the white house and definitely through the campaign is making the issues that he is fighting for and that he has been talking about relevant to everyday americans. and he has been asking for those same americans to make their voices heard with their congressional leaders. and as we all know, there is no one more important to congressional leaders than their own constituents back home. and so when the president asked constituents to let congressional leaders know what it's going to mean to them if their taxes rise on january 1, then leaders are going to hear from their constituents back home. i think that's a very powerful piece of pressure that washington actually does respo
republican kay bailey hutchison from the senate floor but the lack of a deal to avert the fiscal cliff. >> the senator from texas. >> mr. president, we are here just hours before a looming deadline that is going to affect just about every american in some way and i do believe that both sides of the aisle and both sides of the rotunda want to come to a conclusion that will keep us from having what looks like a complete meltdown of governing in washington. someone asked the question in one of our conferences, when was the last time that congress was in session and voting between christmas and new year's. the answer was since 1970 there has not been such a session and it has actually happened only four times in the history of our country and two of those times were dealing with world war ii. so i think enormity of the issue is very clear. that's why we are here. i think we should have done this six months ago, a year ago. i think all of us agree that we shouldn't be here at this last hour still trying to negotiate a point at which so many americans are going to be more heavily taxed. i wa
the ball on the middle class. >> reporter: there was a new year's eve style rally saying the fiscal cliff ball is in the republicans court. >> it's republicans who are holding hostage the middle class in america so that the wealthy don't have to pay their fair share. >> we need two words. presidential leadership, while not just taxing rich people. >> reporter: tennessee republicans lamar alexander and bob corker said the president has to take the lead. corker was not optimistic about the white house meeting. >> we're going end one a small kick the can down the road bill that creates another fiscal cliff to deal with this fiscal cliff. >> reporter: today's meeting at the white house is the first time since mid-november that at the present time has had all four congressional leaders in the same ram at the same time. their past fiscal cliff talks have not been productive. adding to the urgency, 2 million unemployed americans will lose their benefits on saturday if a deal is not reached. the nation's borrowing limit to finance is 16 trillion will be maxed out by monday. and it is unclear how
things stand on the fiscal cliff. >> where do things stand as far as a republican deal? >> republicans advanced a proposal last night and you heard senator mcconnell talk about it on the floor. we're still waiting for a counteroffer. there was an indication we would receive the by 10:00 this morning, but discussions still continue. senator mcconnell and vice president joe biden are continuing to discuss this and we think there still could be a path forward. democrats have come out and made a huge deal out of changing this and republicans are very concerned that it should not be used as an offset to reduce or replace some of the spending cuts that would occur and democrats put forward an alternative. this is a process. there's a lot of give-and-take going on. republicans do not want to see new revenue, democratic tax increases, being used for new spending. that is where many members are drawing the line. >> you all want to use this technical level, but it would really affect social security recipients in the sequester. democrats want to use new revenue from tax increases. is that the wa
as lawmakers continue to scramble to get a fiscal cliff deal done. rich edson has the latest. rich: they are considering legislation here in the senate today. president obama says he called to talk to congressional leaders, democrats and republicans, last evening. there is no progress here to report. president obama put it all on the house. >> they are operating without the house of representatives. it is being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker, not allowing the vast majority to get what they want. if the 250 would be brought up, it would pass overwhelmingly speaking that 250 he is discussing that would keep tax rates where they are for income amount for less than $250,000 increased those earning more. house speaker says senator reed should talk less and legislate more. senate democrats have not. they want to extend all the current tax rates and avoid some of the spending cuts. democrats are on their opening offer. they basically have not moved anywhere. there is less than a week to go. >> senator reid talking about a less than $250,000 limit. speaking right. exactly. liz
there will be a conference call with house republicans later this afternoon to talk about the way forward on the fiscal cliff. we got this from another house republican a few moments ago. >> we're going over the cliff because frankly i believe it is what the president wants. if you go back and look how he has handled this negotiation from the very beginning, go back and look what his own administration has been telling him for years. that tax rates need to go up on everybody. this has been the president's position i believe from the very beginning and i think that's where we'll end up. >> reporter: the president suggested a christmas holiday, maybe a cooling-off period, a time for lawmakers to go home and think what they want to do about the fiscal cliff. it sounds like post-christmas everybody is more pessimistic than ever. harris? harris: they have got travel woes too right now. there are people who might want to get back to washington and can't as they wait for certain snowstorms to move along. mike, thank you very much. >> reporter: thank you. jon: you knew the fiscal cliff could hit you hard in the payc
to congress. >> reporter: republicans have had several chances to pass a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, but they did not do so. the president seems cautiously optimistic something will happen. the president adds that -- adding that he asked the senate to come up with a deal, but that if they do not, he says he wants them to vote to extending the bush tax cuts for the middle class. positive news, concerning former president george h.w. bush. his office released a statement saying he has been moved out of the intensive care unit and into a regular patient room at methodist hospital. he was admit to the the hospital, the day after thanksgiving with bronchitis. three people are dead after a small plane crash in california. investigators say a 63-year-old man, his wife and daughter were flying from san diego to phoenix when the crash happened. the cause is under investigation. final preparations are underway for the big new year's eve celebrations in times square. organizers have tested the confet tow make sure it floats. thousands of people from around the world wrote wishes on the confety
on this fiscal cliff, i think a lot of republicans will move towards that $250,000 number. 24e may not like the president's deal or his approach, but both sides want to extend middle class tax rates. that's the key. both parties agree they want to extend to a certain threshold middle class tax rates. it's all about where that ball ends pup. >> so you think republicans will go for $250,000. >> i don't think the republican leadership will agree on $250,000, but you will see as many republicans move towards $250,000, maybe a scattering in the senate, a scattering in the house, because at the end of the day they want to extend as many rates as possible. >> but, richard, the real question here, they don't have to agree to $250,000 but they have to let a vote happen on $250,000. in of that case mitch mcconnell would have to agree not owe filibuster and speaker boehner would have to allow the bill to come to the floor. it's 9 process disagreements. >> i may not be the only person who is getting confused on the optimist/pessimist signals. let's listen to what we heard from a couple senators. first
the road. let's go to louann on the republican line. caller: to me, the fiscal cliff is a small smokescreen. the fiscal cliff that is coming is obamacare. nobody is addressing obamacare. i have to find out friday will be taxed 2.3% on any device used on us in any of the medical fields. my husband's doctor wrote out a prescription for a blood drop for january. he said i do not know how much this will cost you out of pocket because of obamacare. my husband is over 70. he said he did not know how much longer he would be able to help him because of obamacare. this is a smokescreen. when people find out we will be taxed on medical devices, even our vet bills will be going up, this thing is a joke. the liberals will be hit just as hard as republicans. the tea party warned you this would happen. host: let's give the guys a chance to comment on the health care law and its place in this debate. guest: is not part of the fiscal cliff. there is a tax increase going into effect because of the health reform act. it is not considered part of the fiscal cliff. in terms of immediate damage to the economy,
cliff. negotiations going on this weekend to try and keep from going off the fiscal cliff. the deadline's now just three days away. president obama's modestly optimistic the top democrat and republican in the senate can work things out. jessica yellin has more on what needs to happen in order to make a deal. >> alison, christy, hi. well, the good news is, things could have been worse. it does seem those of us watching the sidelines as though time is running out. congress does some of its best, at least the speediest work when the nation's back is against the wall. >> reporter: after a rare oval office meeting, the president said he's modestly optimistic a deal can come together, emphasis on modestly. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. >> reporter: all sides left in agreement, at least over their next step. >> we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. >> whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect and some people aren't going to like it. some people will l
with the fiscal cliff looming large. >> the fiscal cliff gets closer. congress now has six days left to make a deal. >> aloha, hawaii. >> to my republican colleagues, the ronald reagan model is if you get 80% of what you want, that's a pretty good day. >> they were this close. they were this close to a solution. >> he's going to get tax rate hikes. >> are we going over the cliff? >> i believe we are. >> be republican and be conservative and pass a bill that cuts tax. >> boehner has no control over his extreme right wing faction. >> should anybody's taxes be raised at this point? answer yes or no. >> no. no. ♪ >> we begin as president obama and the senate head back to washington set for one last effort to avert the first fiscal cliff. aloha means good-bye for the president as he packs bound for the white house tonight. the president cutting short his vacation leaving michelle and the girls behind as he gets back to work to try to prevent tax increases and spending cuts due to begin next week. there's just one problem. it appears there would be no house republicans to help hammer out a deal.
think is going to happen now. if we get a small deal before we go over the fiscal cliff, either because harry reid and mitch mcconnell come to a deal in the senate, or because democrats jam the republicans in congress, it's mostly going to be about extending the bush tax cuts for the middle class, which will mean letting them expire for the rich. that will net somewhere around $600 billion in new tax revenue. the white house will pocket that. they will have got in three quarters of what they wanted last year, before even the negotiations had really kicked off. then we're going to go over the cliff and the pressure will mount quickly to strike another deal. republicans are still going to want entitlement cuts sop the white house will insist that the next deal include a dollar in tax increases for every dollar in spending cuts. so in that next deal, image republicans want $800 billion in spending cuts, a number of they've kicked around before. democrats will say they need that much in taxes, too. and because they've already raised rates, they got those middle class tax cuts extended, and
, after the fiscal cliff hits and they get blamed. it is an odd way to negotiate. to get one republican view on what will come next year, early this evening, shortly after the president's press conference, i had the privilege to speaking to republican senator tom coburn of oklahoma. senator, thank you so much for being here tonight. >> glad to be with you, ezra. >> it so seems to me the news of the day is the big deal is dead, completely dead, and we are down to either a small down, a mini deal, or going after the cliff straight. what is your reaction to this? >> i don't -- you know, i'm not sure that's true. just talking to my colleagues in the senate, i think the middle ground is pretty well known by everybody, and i think you could still get something that would be viewed by the ratings agencies as well as the american public as a pretty good solution. so i think it's possible. i don't know that that will happen. it's unfortunate that we're waiting until this late in the hour to try to accomplish something. >> so, then, what do you see as that middle ground? i know you're a member of
on to cal on the republicans line in tennessee. what do you think of the fiscal cliff and where the negotiations are so far? >> i think they ought to go over the fiscal cliff. we have people like that that are on the government bill too long. they are sucking the tit of the federal government. i think everyone should pay their fair share. we have almost a $17 billion national debt. not only, the rich but everyone should pay their fair share. we also need some spending cuts too. $3 for every $1. if you don't do this we're going top find ourselfs in a situation -- you want to talk about unemployment, we're not going to be in a recession we're going to be in a depression. if we don't do this now, what are we going to do when the debt is at $23 trillion. what are we going to do then? >> we're going to bring you president obama's remark again shortly. we're taking a if you more calls. the numbers are on your screen and let us know what you think of the fiscal cliff negotiations so far. brian is on the independent line. go ahead. >> yes, ma'am. we don't have a revenue problem. it's a
republicans they have done their job. they passed a bill months ago to avoid this fiscal cliff. now, that bill has been come meetly ignored by -- completely ignored by senate democrats and by the president. number five the worse part of all there is nothing here that the president is proprosing that deals with the real clear present danger that america now faces. reckless borrowing, reckless spending generational theft that brings america to the point of bankruptcy. the president has given the country over $6 trillion in new debt. trillion dollars deficits as far as the eye can see and all he wants to fight for is higher taxes that will fund a mere 8 and a half days of government. frankly nothing but a pathetic disgrace. you the american people deserve a government that lives within its means. you deserve a government that is not obsessed with using your money to accumulate their power. it is time for americans to understand the simple truth of what is going on here. a truth by the way that an abusively biased news media just ignores. joining us now with reaction as america is on the brink rep
on him to help address the fiscal cliff. he's upset because, quote, the phone never rang. he complains that i have not passed the resolution to pass the fiscal cliff but he's in error. we all know that in july of this year we passed in the senate the relief that would give -- that would give to middle class americans. that passed the senate. now, we know that republicans have buried themselves in procedural road blocks, everything we try to do around here. and now they are saying, well, we can't do the 250 because it wasn't blue-slipped, because it will be blue-slipped. mr. president, how does the american people react to that? there was a bill introduced by the ways and means committee in the house, sandy levin that called for this legislation. the speaker was going to bring it up to kill it but he kobt kill it and then we moved to plan b, the debacle of all debacles. it's the mother of all debacles. that was brought up in an effort to send us something. he couldn't even pass it among the republicans it was so absurd. he meaning the speaker. so it's very clear now, mr. president, that
republican kay bailey hutchison on the senate floor about the lack of a deal to avert the fiscal cliff. mrs. hutchison: mr. president, we are here just hours before a looming deadline that is going to affect just about every american in some way, and i do believe that both sides of the aisle and both sides of the rotunda want to come to a conclusion that will keep us from having what looks like a complete meltdown of governing in washington. someone asked the question in one of our conferences when was the last time that congress was in session and voting between christmas and new year's, and the answer was since 1970, there ha not been such a session, and it has actually only happened four times in the history of our country, and two of those times were dealing with world war ii. so i think the enormity of the issue is very clear, and that's why we are here. i think we should have done this six months ago, a year ago. i think all of us agree that we shouldn't be here at this last hour still trying to negotiate a point at which so many americans are going to be me heavily taxed. i was pleas
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